Is your Car Winter-Proof?

by Jeff Oetting / 20 December 2016 / No Comments

With winter here, many of you may have already winter-proofed your homes and cars, or so you think. With busy lives, it’s easy to forget to prepare for these times. Icy roads, freezing temperatures, and heavy snow isn’t so pleasant. But, it’s not too late! Before the winter becomes unbearable, we’ve put together ways to take care of your car and make sure it’s in tip-top shape for the roads.

 

Checking your Battery Voltage

A weak battery can work just fine in the warm weather, but in the cold, it becomes even weaker. A weak battery can easily turn into a dead battery. It’s best to have a volt test performed on your battery.  This can be done at most auto parts shops. But, to avoid getting fooled by inaccurate readings, it may be best to take your car to a battery specialist. If it shows that you’re in need of a new battery, replace immediately. The last thing you want to happen during the freezing winter, is your car failing to turn over.

 

Specialized Tires

All wheel drive is good in the winter when you’re accelerating. But, if you’re putting on brakes or trying to turn, it may not be so efficient. This is why “winter tires” are the ideal solution for all cars in areas where the temperature will fall below 45 degrees regularly. By doing so, you reap the rewards when braking and turning.

 

Checking Tire Pressure

Tire pressure drops simultaneously with the weather. Low pressure can cause serious accidents when driving on the icy roads. It can also lead to premature tire wear or tread separation, which causes these accidents to begin with. If you find that your tires are low on pressure, make sure to fill your tires at the air pumps found at gas stations.

 

Anti-Freeze

Anti-freeze is very crucial for your vehicle, especially in the winter. This is because coolant keeps the engine from freezing in the cold weather. Any leakage that may be in your vehicle can cause coolant to drain. It’s crucial to have these checked. Also, mechanics recommend a nice 50/50 mix of coolant and water for a lower freezing point, instead of 100% coolant.

 

Ensure Full Gas Tank

Keeping your tank as full as possible can prevent freezing in the fuel pump from accumulated water. It can also ensure you’re able to use your heat, in case you get stuck.

 

While there are many more things you can do to ensure that you’re safe for winter travels, these are the top 5 that we consider most important. Becoming stranded, having your car not start, and putting yourself at the risk of accidents are unfortunate events you can avoid, by following these simple tips.

About the author:

Jeff Oetting, President of Bob Oetting & Associates has been helping families plan for their futures for the past 23 years. Jeff holds an MBA from Eastern Illinois University. In addition to working with his clients to help develop insurance strategies tailored to individuals and families, Jeff is also an instructor in the College of Business at Eastern Illinois University. He is a Certified Insurance Counselor and Certified Risk Manager.

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